PRIME Minister Julia Gillard is experiencing Australia's housing crisis first hand in her search for an alternative home while the Lodge is being renovated. The Sydney Morning Herald reports Ms Gillard's office has ruled out a purchase to fill the gap, leaving the first couple to rely on the difficult rental market.
But like many Australians, she is struggling to find a suitable property.
And to make things more difficult, the Australian Federal Police have produced a lengthy list of demands for any prospective home.
Ms Gillard and partner Tim Mathieson need to find a home with a secure entry and car access, live-in accommodation for bodyguards and bulletproof glass.
The Lodge - the traditional home of the prime minister - is in urgent need of a new roof, plumbing upgrades and an overhaul of some dodgy wiring.
It is expected to be a huge project that will reportedly cost millions of dollars and take 18 months to complete.
Fairfax reports the couple ruled out moving into the Governor-General's Yarralumla residence, with Mr Mathieson calling the home "intimidating".
According to a recent report, one in 10 Australian households is in housing stress and at risk of financial hardship and poverty.
And renters are most at risk, with 26 per cent in housing stress.
Hobart and Sydney put the tightest squeeze on renters.
Hobart has the highest rate of renters in housing stress at 33 per cent, while Sydney has the highest number with more than 100,000 households facing poverty because of the high cost of renting.
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